As Greg Norman prepares to celebrate his 50th birthday on Thursday, and mulls the possibilty of play on the Champions Tour, he also continues to prepare for his upcoming tsunami relief charity golf event, featuring former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, which will take place next month.
The one-day event, officially titled "Three Friends: One Goal," will be played at Medalist Golf Club, Norman's home course in Hobe Sound, Fla., on March 9. The private event will feature 72 participants, each of whom will donate $30,000 to play, with the goal of raising $2 million.
According to Norman, all of the tournament proceeds will be distributed to two charities: AmeriCares and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF: Water and Sanitation Fund.
"We live in a global society," said Norman, "and thus the tragic earthquake and resulting tsunamis that struck South Asia and East Africa touched all of us. "Three Friends: One Goal" provides an opportunity to help the millions who were directly impacted by these horrific events.
"We have all been adversely affected by Mother Nature's wrath at some point," he added, "myself included, when a quartet of hurricanes swept through Florida [last summer]."
The irony of the political stands of Bush and Clinton was not lost on Norman, who has a long-standing friendship with Clinton (Clinton famously took a spill at Norman's home in 1997) noting, "If an event of this magnitude can bring together two distinguished Americans from opposite ends of the political spectrum, what more evidence is needed to prove that this is a cause worthy of all of our consideration."
Another tournament hoping to attract contributors with similar good intentions -- and deep pockets - is The Hope for Children Golf Tournament, to be played Feb. 18-19 at Seven Canyons in Sedona, Ariz. Organizers are seeking 50 players to donate a minimum of $20,000 each, with the goal of raising $1 million for charity. Currently 28 golfers have committed to the tournament, including Tom Weiskopf.
All proceeds will be donated to Mission of Mercy, a Christian relief and development agency working on behalf of orphaned children in Sri Lanka. The country suffered more than 50,000 reported casualties in the December 26 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people in more than 11 countries.
Other golf organizations continue to pull in donations. The Asian Tour raised $60,000 following a charity pro-am at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on January 31. Funds will go to the Red Cross. A total of 68 participants, including 17 Asian Tour players, competed in the fund-raiser.
The U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund, a charity formed by all the major U.S. golf organizations, recently reported that it had raised more than $1 million. Former President Bush is working with the fund to determine where the money will be distributed. The foundation hopes to generate $2 million for the cause.